Fourteen years ago, they moved onto our street. They came with friendly faces and two dogs – Tika and Mojo – and quickly became part of the scenery. We often caught up over coffee, a few times attended events together, and had many conversations about a whole bunch of quirky and interesting things and adventures.

Sometimes in the winter we’d go out our front door to find the sidewalk cleared of snow, thanks to our neighbour and his snow blower. Occasionally we looked after their dogs, and once or twice we sought their advice. We knew where we could go if there was a problem, and we shared moments of loss, lots of laughs, and family updates here and there. We might not have seen each other as much as we would have liked over the years, but we became more than just neighbours. We also became friends.

When we heard their house was going on the market, we hid our disappointed faces, got excited for them, and congratulated them when it was sold. And on Monday evening when they’ll be in their new home in a different place, we’ll be reminding ourselves not to look for them when we walk or drive down the back lane.

It’s hard saying goodbye to good neighbours, the kind you trust and can rely on, who always greet you with a smile, who are happy to stop and catch up, and who you know you’ll miss when they’re gone. But it’s not like they’ve moved to the other side of the world – unlike me twenty five years ago – and we have made vague plans to catch up here or there when the opportunity arises.

In the meantime, there are some other good neighbours around here and new neighbours coming, so that definitely makes the goodbye a bit easier to bear.

All the best, Art and Sue and Ruby and Wendy and Ted. Enjoy your new home, and thanks for the memories. It has been and always will be our pleasure to call you friends.